The PROSE Newsletter: January 2015 Issue
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Volume 1 | Issue 2 | January 2015

Look out for the PROSE PLC!

The PROSE team has partnered with Knowledge Sharing to create a professional learning community (PLC), within the Desire2Learn platform. Current PROSE schools can continue their learning, actively collaborate, and push each other's thinking around the implementation of PROSE innovations. Within this space, PROSE participants have the opportunity to engage with each other and central policy experts, who will lend their facilitation expertise within the context of three PLC groups: Use of Time, Personalized Learning, and Teacher Evaluation. Experts in labor relations and distributive leadership will provide support across all three strands. Interactions will be a mixture of scheduled online group activities, ad hoc school groupings, and face-to-face events. Resources will be shared and aggregated into online coursework for PROSE schools who are newly admitted in 2015. If you are currently a member of a PROSE school and would like to join the PLC, please sign up now. The PROSE PLC will be available for school access at the beginning of February.

Flexible Class Sizes and Strategic Teacher Pairing for Differentiation at The School of Integrated Learning

The School of Integrated Learning, a middle school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, has been focused on improving writing across genres as part of their PROSE work. Principal Monique Campbell and her teachers have used flexible class sizes and strategic pairing of teachers to better differentiate for the needs of their students. The sixth grade math teacher, Takitha Lindsey, works very closely with the sixth grade ELA teacher, Sharon Paradis. Ms. Lindsey has found ways to infuse writing into her math projects and assignments, adapting some of the structures and writing supports from her ELA colleague and incorporating them into her class. In turn, Ms. Paradis has adapted a protocol for student discussion that Ms. Lindsey has used with her math students to focus on claims, evidence and reasoning. In addition, Ms. Lindsey and Ms. Paradis collaborate and often co-teach classes of different sizes, grouping and regrouping students as needed to maximize student learning.

In grade 7, math teacher Elisha Boyd and ELA teacher Sherry-Ann Atkinson use a similar arrangement that incorporates peer tutoring.
Ms. Boyd might lead a larger group of students with varying abilities and have her more advanced students tutor other students who are struggling within this larger group. Ms. Atkinson would be able to provide intensive support to a smaller group of struggling students.

This approach around flexible class sizes and teacher partnerships emerged organically from the teachers in sixth grade and has since grown to the seventh grade. The school is currently looking to incorporate this into the eighth grade. While the principal’s leadership has been instrumental in facilitating the development and growth of these kinds of practices in her school, Principal Campbell is quick to highlight that many of these innovative ideas emerge from needs that her teachers identify and their ideas for addressing them; these ideas are then discussed with her Chapter Leader, Betty Nieves, and other teachers for further development and refinement.
Click above to COMPLETE the 2015 - 2016 PROSE application. An annotated version of the application can also be accessed on the PROSE Knowledge Base prior to your completion.  Hurry!!! Applications are due February 27th.  Schools that submit the application by February 2nd will receive direct feedback from the PROSE Panel and will have an opportunity to resubmit.

Please note that current PROSE schools do not have to reapply.

policies Policy Updates

Answers to many of the Frequently Asked Questions from PROSE schools have been posted on the PROSE Knowledge Base.

Access to School Kitchens:
All schools may request access for staff, students, and community members to use the school building’s kitchen when active food preparation and service is not occurring. Access to the kitchen after school hours is granted via the permitting system here; however, an extra fee is required to cover the cost of a SchoolFood's staff member working on site during the activity. School staff should reach out to the building’s SchoolFood manager to discuss the hours of availability of the school kitchen and plan collaboratively for future use.

Course Extension Pilot:
Four PROSE schools will begin piloting the use of “Course Extensions” that allow students in mastery-based courses to continue in these courses beyond the initial term of study if they have not yet mastered course content and skills. Further information about mastery-based learning and this flexibility is available from the DOE’s Office of Academic Policy and Systems.
 January 21- Mastery Collaborative Online Session: Join the Mastery Collaborative, led by the Office of Postsecondary Readiness, and Christy Kingham of the Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria from 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. as they present on providing multiple attempts to show mastery over time. Register Now.

 January 22 - PROSE 3rd Planning Evening: Thus far, 132 participants have registered for the 3rd Evening Planning Session, which will be held at the Urban Assembly School for Green Careers. Workshops offered during this planning evening will focus on defining the Theory of Change (TOC) as it relates to the PROSE application and explains how a strong TOC can support program implementation and research. Schools that choose to attend this part of the session will develop their own TOCs, identify key outcomes, and articulate the structures and processes necessary to achieve them. Schools will also have free planning time to work with school teams and consult with PROSE/Central staff. Register Now.

 February 6 - PROSE Mid-Year Symposium: How do we monitor and measure the changes we want?  During the Mid-Year Symposium, current PROSE schools (only) will deepen their understanding of the ways  in which they monitor the changes they want for their schools through PROSE, as well as reflect on the work they have been engaged in. Schools will have the opportunity to share their PROSE implementation plans and engage with peers around promising practices. Register Now.
More schools have expressed interest in PROSE throughout the school year by increasingly attending community events (*based on pre-registration numbers).
Meet the PROSE Team: Alexandra Anormaliza

Alex Anormaliza is the Executive Director for School Design and Development. Prior to joining PROSE, Alex served as Executive Director for the Office of Instructional Support where she oversaw citywide professional development and the creation of citywide instructional expectations that defined the instructional agenda for the New York City public schools. As founding principal of The International High School at Prospect Heights in Brooklyn, Alex is very passionate about improving student outcomes through innovation and distributive leadership.
"The new CSA agreement also expands opportunities for PROSE schools to create even more cutting edge practices, allowing for up to 200 schools to develop new ways to improve educational outcomes for our students. PROSE schools have already begun making headway in classroom-level, teacher-led innovation, and this contract will provide even greater space for creativity and innovation."
~Chancellor Carmen Fariña
Copyright © 2015 Office of School Design & Charter Partnerships, PROSE, All rights reserved.

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